When Jason Aldean went to work on his album, They Don’t Know, he knew he had a song built for a duet, but no idea who he’d want to sing on it with him. There are plenty of powerful female country singers to choose from, but it wasn’t until he heard a song on the radio that sealed the deal for his track “First Time Again.”
“Honestly, with that song, we were looking for somebody to possibly do this duet with, and [Kelsea Ballerini’s] name came up,” Aldean told Sounds Like Nashville and other media outlets. “Really, it was when I heard the song she has out now, the ‘Peter Pan’ song, that I started to listen to her voice and go, ‘All right, well I haven’t really heard her sing like that yet,’ so that was when it caught my attention.”
Due to their busy touring schedules, it was impossible to get Ballerini into the studio with Aldean to record the song. So the Georgia native called up a buddy for some help.
“She was on tour with the Rascal Flatts and we needed the vocals, so we called Jay DeMarcus from Flatts and sent the track out and asked him could he just record her singing it, so he did, sent it back to us, we comped it here, and did everything else here, but Jay actually recorded her vocal out on the road,” he explained.
The track is featured on Aldean’s new album, They Don’t Know, which is out now. But it wasn’t until just a couple weeks ago that Aldean got to see Ballerini in person and talk about the collaboration.
“I saw her at the ACM Honors. It was the first time I’d seen her since she did it and I just wanted to be able to thank her and tell her how great it was,” he said. “She’s cool. She’s one of the coolest, nicest people in town, super sweet, and obviously off to a great start in her career. I was glad to be able to have her on the album and be part of it.”
They Don’t Know is Aldean’s seventh studio album and features his No.1 hit “Lights Come On” and current single “A Little More Summertime.”